ever on and on
There is a belief among writers that you pretty much have just one story but that you keep on telling it for the rest of your life. I can understand that, at least for some writers. And it’s maybe not a story actually but a theme or an idea or a subject that you keep revisiting, trying to puzzle out in words what about it burns so strongly within you or maybe trying to finally tell the story exactly right.
I have been flirting with the “finished” One-Match Fire manuscript for weeks, telling myself that I need to give it another read through to muscle it into final form so I can begin submitting it. I realize that I’m actually frightened of both the big job of preparing it for submission and the big risk to my very soul in submitting it for objective evaluation (and likely copious rejection). But I’ll get the job done.
Except that I’m realizing the job will never be done. I’m currently working on a story called “Fire Sermon” and it’s coming along slowly but well. It deals with the friendship of two of the characters from One-Match Fire, and, importantly, these characters’ relationships with their fathers and sons. So it fits with the theme of my novel. It doesn’t fit into that novel per se, but it’s cut from the same cloth. And the longer I live with these characters, the more stories I see for them (or that they are revealing to me if you want to get mystical).
Thus I’m already having initial thoughts about the inevitable sequel to One-Match Fire. More stories about these characters who have taken up residence in my head and are knocking around noisily like the person in the apartment upstairs. The novel focuses on three characters: a grandfather, a father, and a grandson. But at the end of the novel, the grandson is an adult, on the verge of marrying and even considering becoming a father himself. Stories abound. And I’ve been told that I’m pretty good at writing flashbacks, so even characters and events long past can be marshaled in and put to good use. As long as I draw breath, I can probably write stories about these people, and so I can fill enuf pages for another novel.
I think I must since I’ve already come up with a title for it. Don’t you think Embers is an appropriate name for a novel to follow one called One-Match Fire?